Theodore Tilton



The Mystery Of Nature

by Theodore Tilton


The works of God are fair for nought
Unless our eyes, in seeing,
See, hidden in the thing, the thought
That animates its being.


The outward form is not the whole,
But every part is moulded
To image forth an inward soul
That dimly is unfolded.


The shadow, pictured in the lake
By every tree that trembles,
Is cast for more than just the sake
Of that which it resembles.


The dew falls nightly, not alone
Because the meadows need it,
But hath an errand of its own
To human souls that heed it.


The stars are lighted in the skies
Not merely for their shining,
But, like the looks of loving eyes,
Have meanings worth divining.


The waves that moan along the shore,
The winds that sigh in blowing,
Are sent to teach a mystic lore
Which men are wise in knowing.


The clouds around the mountain peak,
The rivers in their winding,
Have secrets which, to all who seek,
Are precious in the finding.


Thus Nature dwells within our reach,
But, though we stand so near her,
We still interpret half her speech
With ears too dull to hear her.


Whoever, at the coarsest sound,
Still listens for the finest,
Shall hear the noisy world go round
To music the divinest.


Whoever yearns to see aright
Because his heart is tender,
Shall catch a glimpse of heavenly light
In every earthly splendor.


So, since the universe began,
And till it shall be ended,
The soul of Nature, soul of Man,
And soul of God are blended!


The Sexton's Tale, And Other Poems.
Copyright 1867
Sheldon And Company, New York.